Friday, March 13, 2009

The Israel Policy Forum

As a result of some web surfing, which I probably do too often, I read a piece by M.J. Rosenberg about the far right Israel Lobby knee capping Charles Freeman and forcing him to resign from his newly appointed position as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

Rosenberg's opinion was that it was a Pyrrhic victory for those who brought Freeman down. That the administration is "pissed off" and that Obama is even more likely to take a strong stand against Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

I was pleasantly surprised to read a Jewish journalist expressing such thoughts. I've since placed the web site of his organization, The Israel Policy Forum, in my Favorites List.

Here's is another piece by Rosenberg. This one is a fine summary of IPF's views on what's needed to solve the Palestinian conundrum. It is so refreshing to read such reasonable beliefs.

I've also learned that I might have been using the terms Zionism and Zionist incorrectly. Seems the Israelis who get my goat are, according to Rosenberg the far right Likudniks, now back in power in Israel, and those in this country who back them. Rosenberg, a rational and reasonable man, supports Zionism as necessary to the survival of Israel as a Jewish nation, and one of the two nations that are needed for the survival of Israel as a Jewish nation. The second is the need for a Palestinian nation/state. It's the Likudniks it seems which have no use for Palestinians, nor a Palestinian state, and are doing everything they can to prevent it, including expanding the hated occupation of Palestinian territories and the building of even more illegal settlements, check points and barriers to a reasonable Palestinian life. My mistake, based on what I've read by Rosenberg and others at the Israel Policy Forum is to call such people Zionists.

While I still take a dim view of a purely Jewish Israel, wishing that Israel be more of a melting pot like America, that's probably too much to ask of Israelis at this time in the history of that young country. What I am grateful to learn is that there are reasonable people like Rosenberg who love Israel, but/and understand that its treatment of the Palestinians is brutal and shameful, and must be stopped if Israel is to survive as a Nation.

As I wonder why I've been slow to find such a source of reasonable views I realize that almost all I read about US/Israel relations in the MSM is bound up in references to AIPAC and right wing Israeli advocates, the so-called Israel Lobby which Freeman ran up against. The question is why is that so? It would take more than my limited understanding to explain it. I speculate that the editorial boards of the MSM have a lot to do with what stories are covered, and what slant those stories are given. The Washington Post and the New York Times routinely publish stories which are written as news items, but which are written in such a way as to imply editorial opinion.

So my new question is, Why is AIPAC given more attention than IPF, the Israel Policy Forum?
I'd like to hear from those who know more than I about such stuff. The Old New Englander is one who has been a patient and reliable tutor frequently.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper


Mikeand Mindy said...

Thanks for your "shout out." It is much appreciated.
You are right. The voices of people like me and organizations like IPF are drowned out by the much louder other side.

If you want, I'll put you down for my weekly IPF Friday column. The good news is that it's pretty widely read. The bad news is that our Congress pays much more attention to the rightwingers than to us!
But it's getting better.

MJ Rosenberg

PS to sign up, just go to

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

Thanks to MJ Rosenberg for his compliment and confirmation of the premise of this post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing my attention to such clearheaded journalists in the press.It is so important to continue telling people there are legitimate views about Isreali policy other than those of AIPAC.

The silence from our Congress and Senate in support of Mr.Freeman is deafening. Perhaps Mr.Schumer et al would lose a ton of money from Aipac supporting their reelections